By adopting a Calkins' Critter, you will supply one of our 80+ animals with food, toys, veterinary supplies, and more for one year. Each animal has a different adoption price, based on the resources they require to survive for one year.
As part of your donation, you will be mailed a formal adoption certificate and a picture of your adopted critter. When your adoption period is up, you will have the option to readopt the animal for the next year.
Pictured is Homer Calkins caring for an American Kestrel, North America's smallest falcon species.
History of the Live Animal Display:
Calkins Nature Area was donated to the Ellsworth Community College Board of Trustees in 1981. Homer Calkins, the donor and executive director of the Hardin County Conservation Board, dedicated his life to helping injured and sick wildlife. Many of the buildings you see on the grounds were Calkins’ originals. In these buildings, Homer cared for owls, hawks, pelicans, exotic birds and pheasants, baby animals, and more. The buildings have since been renovated after Homer’s passing in 1996, but many of the original structures still stand. We continue to preserve Homer’s legacy by housing rehabilitated wildlife at the nature center. We even have one of Homer’s great horned owls (Grumpy) who celebrated his 30th birthday with us in 2018. There are over 80 animals here including mammals, waterfowl, raptors, amphibians, reptiles, and fish. Our animals are non-releasable because of physical limitations or human imprinting, which is why your adoption dollars are so crucial to their survival in a captive environment. They need all the help they can get!